Let’s face it. 2020 has been a tough year. We are impoverished people; an impoverished community—but we can do better. Poverty (by all definitions) has and will continue to be a long-standing issue for humanity. I’m not just talking about the basic necessities of life. There are also social, economic, and political poverties eroding our community. The personal and social costs include financial hardship, homelessness and housing stress, family tensions, mental health crisis resulting in shame and stigma, increased social isolation, and ill-health. This, combined with poverty due to the pandemic, natural catastrophes and environmental changes is growing. Racial and political conflicts are also impoverishing all sides. Poverty is also a perceived loss of hope. Poverty is when we feel that there is no one who will help.
That’s why the work of United Way of Yellowstone County is so critical, especially right now. United Way provides help and hope for everyone. An important way to help eradicate all types of poverty is to work for peaceful, real solutions for all of humanity. To begin to alleviate poverty, adequate income and meaningful employment opportunities, safe and affordable childcare, quality education, decent housing, adequate medical and mental health care are being addressed by United Way at a systems level to keep Yellowstone County strong and thriving.
Poverty, at its core, is not simply about a lack of money, but a lack of community. When we talk about poverty as an issue of hope and wholeness instead of merely an issue of financial well-being, we move closer to addressing the heart of the issue.
Poverty appears to be such an overwhelming reality that it might feel like there is little one human being can do. Yet we are encouraged to care for those in our midst who are in need and marginalized. The reality is that if our community is to become what it should be, what it deserves, then we all must reach out to care for those who are in need. Together, we can LIVE UNITED and provide community for those that have none.
When we care for others, their issues become our issues. Advocacy can also be a means for getting to know others in community. Consider what issues in our community inspire you and how you might get involved through volunteering. Advocacy is a United Way cornerstone.
While our partner agencies, nonprofits, and churches respond to immediate needs by providing food, clothing and shelter, United Way is called to challenge the systems and practices that have led to economic inequality, poverty and hunger.
The United Way Annual Campaign is happening now. You can join in! Follow this link to make a 1 time gift
, or call 406.252.8504 to get your company involved in helping eliminate poverty from Yellowstone County.